You can make the most of the winter months with these lockdown-friendly things to do.
As the coronavirus pandemic stretches into nearly a full year of impacting our daily lives, it can feel like it’s hard to find any fun in your day-to-day routine. But even if you’re socially distancing and spending more time at home, with a little creativity, you can still find some wonderful ways to enjoy the season with clever winter activities during coronavirus.
Cross some of these things to do this winter off of your list while you’re still quarantining—or start dreaming of these wonderful things to do in spring once the weather shifts.
Enjoy the outdoors (socially distanced)
- Have an epic snowball fight
- Go sledding
- Make a snowman or a snow fort with people in your household
- Go snowshoeing
- Make snow angels
- Go stargazing
- Take a wintry hike
- Try ice skating
Get a taste of winter
- Load up a cup of cocoa with whipped cream or marshmallows
- Bake a pie
- Sip a hot toddy
- Make baked apples
- Restart your sourdough addiction (and try these ideas for things you can make with your sourdough starter that aren’t bread)
- Make homemade caramel popcorn
- Roast root vegetables
- Enjoy some mulled wine
- Simmer a pot of homemade soup
- Make snow cream
- Indulge in a big stack of pancakes slathered with maple syrup
- Make (and enjoy) eggnog (here’s an easy eggnog recipe!)
- Have a little fondue
Try some wintry crafts
- Build a gingerbread house
- Cut paper snowflakes
- Make a birdfeeder out of pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed—and place it near your window for a show
- Create handmade valentines
- Knit a scarf
Enjoy some much-needed self-care
- Cosy up by a roaring fire (indoors or out!)
- Watch the snow fall
- Burn your favourite scented candle
- Light candles and enjoy a bubble bath
- Break out a jigsaw puzzle
- Cuddle up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a good book
- Spend the day in your PJs
- Work on a challenging crossword or word game
- Splurge on a pair of fuzzy slippers
Reconnect with loved ones
- Bake cookies to share with your friends and neighbours
- Build a pillow fort
- Enjoy a living room picnic
- Host a movie marathon of all your favourites
- Eat dinner by candlelight
- Write a love letter
- Plan a virtual game night
Try something new
Get some inspiration with these 40 creative ways to spend your newfound free time:
1. Set goals
Productivity is about progress. it’s about breaking our long-term goals down into daily action so that we can grow and develop. Yes, we’re set to have an abundance of free time on our hands at the moment but that doesn’t mean having to spend every second of the day rushing about in a bid to get everything done.
Instead, by setting regular daily or weekly goals we can prioritise what’s really important without feeling overwhelmed or overstretched. Depending on what you’re looking to accomplish, there’s a range of goal-planning journals and notebooks covering everything from cleaning, exercise and diet to business and life goals.
2. Learn a language
Remember all those times you said you’d learn Italian, Spanish or French but just couldn’t find a spare minute? Here’s your chance. With a wide selection of YouTube videos and online tutorials at your disposal, why not use this time to learn a completely new language.
3. Listen to a podcast
Whether you’re looking for something to boost your mood or expand your mind, a podcast is a great way to spend your time.
4. Start a podcast
Obsessed with podcasts? Are you and your family hilarious? Maybe it’s time you looked into making a business out of podcasting. You’ll need all the technical equipment, but first, swot up with how you’re going to make your millions from your dining room table.
5. Get reading
There are endless benefits to reading. Whether you’re looking to improve your vocabulary, learn something new, escape to other worlds or relax, there are plenty of options at your disposal.
6. Write a letter
Remember how enjoyable it was to receive a letter in the post? Do that with your friends and family – make their day. Buy some nice paper and spread some love to a friend or family member.
7. Learn to cook
Many people used their free time during lockdown to improve upon their cooking skills. With an array of recipe books at your disposal, you can start with the basics and work your way up to Michelin star dishes.
8. Take up photography
Always wanted to learn but never found the time. View life through a different lens as you capture all the important moments – big or small – on camera.
9. Organise your wardrobe
Most of us have at least one dress that we know we’ll never wear again or a pair of jeans that just don’t fit the way they used to. It’s time to declutter your wardrobe and get rid of those sad pieces that no longer see the light of day. Either pass them onto friends and family, donate them to charity or at the very least, find your nearest clothing bank and recycle.
10. Learn to arrange flowers
Perfect for anyone with an affinity for flowers, learn how to create an array of floral displays with this how-to guide for beginners. Gift your loved ones with a hand-crafted bouquet or bring a pop of colour to your home by curating vases with simple arrangements or the latest cutting edge contemporary designs.
11. Organise your photos
Guilty of printing out your holiday photos and leaving them in a drawer? Get nostalgic and organise your snaps into either a scrapbook or frames. Taking a trip down memory lane might just put a smile on your face.
12. Learn to make cocktails
Try your hand at mixology, courtesy of Taste Cocktails. Offering a three-month subscription, each month a new DIY kit full of premium ingredients and recipes will be sent your way. Find out how to make the following drinks: Espresso Martini, Margarita, Old Fashioned, Manhattan’s, Bramble, Long Island Iced Tea, Gin Martini, & Mojitos.
13. Create a mood board
Feeling inspired? Create a mood board filled with new ideas, aspirations, and inspirational images. Visualising what you want from life might just give you the motivation and clarity to achieve it.
14. Make a bucket list
Think positive and look ahead to sunnier days by making a bucket list. Rather than wallowing in your pyjamas for the fifth day in a row (we’ve all been there) change your outlook and reflect on all of the things you’ll be able to do once lockdown restrictions are lifted. Looking to travel more? These scratch-off maps are perfect for planning your next adventure post COVID-19.
15. Plant a herb garden
Put those green fingers to good use and plant a herb garden – there’s nothing better than cooking with fresh herbs.
16. Learn sign language
A unique language in its own right, sign language may seem like an intimidating skill to learn, but with a number of easy step-by-step guides at your disposal, you’ll be signing like a pro in no time.
17. Repair your clothes
Been meaning to sew up that hole in your favourite coat? Need to fix that zip on the back of your dress? It’s time to pick up a needle and thread and get to work. Just a few minutes of hard work and concentration could breathe new life into your wardrobe. Stop ‘finding’ the time to work on the smaller things – start now.
18. Learn to play an instrument
Dust off that keyboard you got for Christmas last year, re-tune that guitar you’ve had for god knows how long and begin to fill your days with the sound of music. With so much free time, it’s never been easier to pick up a new skill.
19. Become a wine connoisseur
Discover which wines you like and why, read about the journey from grape to glass, and build on your understanding of wine tasting.
Many people kept busy during the first coronavirus lockdown by building Lego sculptures with his kids, and who can blame him? Lego is perfect for keeping your mind busy and you get the ta-da at the end of it.
21. Write a novel
The idea of writing a novel is one which can often seem daunting. How many of us have opened Word, stared at a blank page for a while and then admitted defeat? Enough is enough. Writing can be an incredibly therapeutic practice and one which can help to pass the time. Who knows, you might even be the next J.K. Rowling?
22. Start a blog
You can never go wrong with writing a blog. Whether you’re using it as an online writing portfolio, a space to share your passions or as an opportunity to try something new, it’s time to get those creative juices flowing.
23. Get fit
Missing the gym? Working out at home can be just as beneficial for both your mind and body. Why not try out different types of workouts over the course of the next few weeks and find that workout that really works for you.
24. Do some gardening
Sick of spending all your time indoors? Transform your garden into a tranquil space so that you can venture outside for some much-needed R&R.
25. Upcycle your furniture
Can’t stop staring at that annoying chip in your sideboard? Desperate to give those bookshelves a new lick of paint? Why not try your hand at a spot of DIY and transform those tired pieces of furniture into something your friends will be jealous of?
26. Learn to code
In an increasingly digital age, the ability to code can put you at a major advantage. Ditch those technophobic tendencies and teach yourself how to master this highly sought-after skill.
27. Learn Calligraphy
Bored of biro and pencil? Go one step further and transform your writing into a work of art by practicing calligraphy and lettering. With an array of tutorials and expert guides available online, you’ll learn the tricks of the trade in no time – all you’ll really need is a calligraphy set and the willingness to turn off Netflix.
28. Write a journal
The great thing about journaling is that you can write whatever you want, whenever you want. Jot down your best ideas, doodle, write about your day or even create a list of goals, the choice is yours. Who knows, you might even find yourself inspired.
29. Clear out your kitchen cupboards
Organise the entire contents of your kitchen cupboards? Check the expiration dates on those canned goods at the back, clear out that junk drawer you’ve been avoiding or go the whole hog and colour coordinate your spice rack!
30. Wash your makeup brushes
Been meaning to wash your makeup brushes for a while now? Besides bacteria, your favourite beauty brushes can also accumulate dead skin cells and oils over time, so it’s pretty important that you keep them fresh and clean. Avoid makeup streaks and patches by painting your face with a smoother, more streamlined brush.
31. Buy a loved one a gift
Staying connected with the ones you love during this tough time doesn’t have to involve social media. Make someone’s day by sending them a heartfelt gift through the post. In need of ideas? Check out our roundup of the best gifts to shop during isolation.
32. Paint a picture
Channel your inner Bob Ross and try your hand at painting a picture. A great way to keep busy, develop your artistic skills and create something that you can be proud of. New to painting? Amazon has plenty of paint by numbers kits to kickstart your progress.
33. Organise your desk
Struggling to concentrate with all that clutter on your desk? Get your workspace back in order and comb through all of that loose paperwork and scattered stationary. Not only will it look more inviting on all of those Zoom meetings, but it will help you to feel more motivated and inspired.
34. Get your DIY on
Take the time to tackle some interior improvements that you didn’t get around to during the summer – be that painting your walls, upholstering old furniture or rearranging a room.
35. Play board games
If you’re lucky enough to be in quarantine with company, embrace some old school entertainment and crack out the board games for some light competition. Monopoly should be chosen at your own risk.
36. Play a Murder Mystery game
Bored of pub quizzes? Elevate your Zoom game with a virtual Murder Mystery session. Available to buy online, you have a choice of three packages: downloadable ready parties, immersive evenings with a performer, and fully bespoke soirees. There’s an array of themes to choose from, including 1920s Paris and Vintage Circus, while the game is suitable for four to 24 people.
Replace your gym visit with an at-home work-out, with squats, burpees and press-ups all achievable without equipment. Transform your lounge into a yoga space and stretch it out.
38. Do evening drinks (from home)
More and more of us are turning to virtual slumber parties via Zoom so we can keep up with friends, have a laugh, a glass of wine or three, and make the best of the lockdown. Why not become the Quiz Master and organise the ultimate pub quiz?
39. Learn how to knit
Pick up your needles and take the time to hone a new skill like knitting. Not just for grandmas, knitting is considered incredibly therapeutic and practical.
40. Dance it out
Blast out some of your favourite tunes and get dancing in your bedroom, living room or bathroom. Hairbrush microphone optional.